Bing recently announced that they were changing their search listing to include a new social aspect. Now, this isn’t actually something new. Bing have been pulling in Facebook and Twitter data for a while now but you have to try really hard to get these results. Firstly, you need to be signed into Live. Secondly, you need to link your Facebook account to your Live account. Finally, those outside of the US would need to try that little bit harder as a lot of the changes have been limited to the US.
The new Bing looks like it’s going to give Google+ a run for their money. In fact, when social search comes into play Bing have a huge advantage with their tie in with Facebook. Friends, likes and content already exists, Bing are just plugging into this huge source of data.
The video below explains the thinking behind their new social search.
After tweaking a few of my settings I’ve managed to trial it myself and it seems to work pretty well (when it works). A search for ASDA George brings back the standard listings you might expect but the biggest difference would be the sidebar which connects to my Facebook. Within this sidebar a list of friends who have either liked ASDA or ASDA George comes up. Not just this but an option to add a post or ask a question to someone directly.
The interesting thing is that it seemed to post directly on my wall and it actually opened up the question to all of my friends and started a conversation.
As the video suggests, where this will have the biggest success will be around travel related searches. People needing advice on where to stay, what to see, where to eat and when to go. This is where social influence will have the biggest impact.
However, all said and done there seems to be a large gap. The delay between search, asking for advice and getting a response. When we are searching for a particular product/brand we generally want information then and there. This process could prevent clicks and traffic to sites or delay the purchase funnel. Google+ has been focusing on using data to help sway a decision to click. Bing seems to be going the way of using social to help in the consideration stage. If this takes off there needs to be further investment in user click journeys. It’s still uncertain how Bing will turn this into revenue but it could be a small step in gaining more market share.
- To keep fighting Google, Microsoft adds more Facebook into Bing (zdnet.com)
- Bing Launches “The New Bing”: Search Goes Social In Extreme (stateofsearch.com)
- Bing gets social as it leapfrogs Google with Facebook, Twitter – and Google+ (guardian.co.uk)